'I've just found your son on fire': Bridlington carer's words to mum after saving boy engulfed in flames by rolling him in snow
A WOMAN has spoken of the moment she saw an 11-year-old boy engulfed in flames.
Owen Shepherd suffered 20 per cent burns after playing with paint thinner and a lighter.
Gayle Brown has been praised for rushing from her car to roll Owen in the snow in a desperate attempt to put out the flames.
Gayle, a carer from Bridlington, said: "I had just finished a call early and had a 30-minute gap so I went early to my next job.
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"I was pulling into the street when I heard screaming and saw this fireball.
"I looked at the face and shouted 'Get on the floor'.
"I recognised his face, as he went to Hilderthorpe Primary School, where my little boy went."
Owen had been playing in Horsforth Avenue, Bridlington when he accidentally set himself alight.
Gayle said: "He said it was hurting too much and wouldn't get on the ground, so I kicked him down into the snow and dialled for an ambulance.
"A neighbour came out and I asked her for cling film, wrapping his legs to stop the blisters. It was something I had learnt from training at the Allied Healthcare Group.
"He was burnt at the top of his face, hands and from the knees downwards."
Gayle, 38, of Bridlington, then phoned Owen's mother to tell her what had happened.
She said: "I told her I had just found her son on fire.
"She put the phone down on me and then rung straight back."
He was taken by ambulance to Hilderthorpe School, where he was then taken by RAF helicopter to the paediatric burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
Gayle said: "Anybody else would have done the same. I was in overdrive from the adrenaline.
"My heart was nearly coming out of my chest.
His mother, Hayley Shepherd, said: "Next time I see Gayle, I will give her a great big thank-you hug.
"If she had not put him out, he would not be here today."
Hayley, 42, who has been by Owen's bedside in Sheffield Children's Ward, was shopping in Morrisons when she got the phone call saying her son had been burnt.
She arrived at the scene just in time to board the helicopter with her son, who is studying at Bridlington's Sport College.
"He is doing great and recovering really quick," she said.
"I've been with him at the Sheffield Children's Ward for the past ten days.
"He had the skin grafts on Monday and his face is healing.
"He's eating and drinking and doctors hope to have him walking on Tuesday or Wednesday.
"He doesn't really want to talk about what happened. It has really shaken him up."
Hayley said Owen has been inundated with cards and messages from family and friends.
"People should see this as a warning not to mess with lighters and things that explode," she said.